Mike King slams National for 'pretending' to care about Gumboot Friday, 'offensive meme'

Mental health campaigner Mike King has lashed out at the National Party, accusing them of 'pretending' to care about his charity Gumboot Friday. 

It comes after National MP Chris Bishop posted a meme on his Facebook page on Wednesday mocking Labour for funding a meth rehab but not King's charity. The meme was also shared by Simeon Brown. 

The meme shows a car labelled 'Labour Government' pulling off a highway towards a sign labelled "$2.5 million to the Mongrel Mob", ignoring a sign straight ahead which reads "Mike King's Gumboot Friday".

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed she signed off on $2.75 million of funding for a meth rehab programme run by the Mongrel Mob. The decision has been relentlessly criticised by the National Party, who have highlighted Gumboot Friday's lack of funding. 

But it seems King isn't too impressed by the meme calling it "offensive" in a Facebook post on Thursday. 

"Dear National Party, stop pretending you care about me or Gumboot Friday. Your memes are offensive and the young lives being lost because of cold, unfeeling bureaucrats is not something to joke about. Stop."

It's not the first time King has taken a jab at a political party. 

On Monday, King slammed the Prime Minister's choice to fund the meth programme but not his charity, despite missing the funding deadline. 

In a Facebook video, King said he didn't have an issue with the programme being given money, but he took issue with Ardern taking credit for it despite telling him she couldn't be involved in deciding whether his charity got money or not. 

"When I asked you to have a conversation about it in the Koru Club, you looked me in the eye and you said, 'Mike I cannot get involved in this, we have a fair and equitable system and I cannot be involved in funding decisions'.

"Yet today, you stood at the press conference and you took credit for signing off $2.75 million to the Mongrel Mob. I don't get it. Where is the 'fair and equitable' process? Where is the honesty and transparency? For me, it's lost and you've been making these silly decisions for a long time now."

Last month, the Ministry of Health rejected funding for Gumboot Friday because the funding application was outside the timeframe for procurement. 

Ardern has previously defended the Government's progress on mental health

At a press conference on Tuesday, she said both mental health and addiction need to be addressed. 

"I think everyone who works across mental health and addiction knows, we need to both address the need in our mental health system and also addiction because of course, those in the sector recognise that so often we see both issues cruising time and time again in our communities. We need to do both."